Wellington Regional Urges People to Seek Emergency Care for Critical Medical Conditions
April 22 2020 – Despite the large numbers of COVID-19 patients seeking care in the Emergency Department (ED) across the country, it remains important for members of the public to pay attention to other emergency medical situations that can still develop during the pandemic.  For patients who are experiencing serious medical symptoms such as chest pain or mental confusion, call 911.
 “If you or a family member experience any symptom associated with a medical emergency you should still seek care immediately,” said Adam Bromberg, MD, Emergency Department medical director, Wellington Regional Medical Center.  “It is understandable that people might be hesitant to go to the ED right now, but it is not a good idea to delay treatment on many of these medical emergencies.  Time is critical in these medical situations.”
 Emergency Departments are designed to care for patients 24 hours a day, seven day a week regardless of the emergency.  If a person is experiencing symptoms that could possibly be an indicator of a medical emergency, such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, confusion, altered speech, trouble lifting your arms and weakness, he/she should seek immediate medical care.  
“Unfortunately, we are starting to see patients that have waited too long to seek medical evaluation and treatment because they are concerned about going to an Emergency Room and being exposed to COVID-19,” said Bromberg.  “There is a saying in emergency medicine that time saves lives and seeking medical attention when a patient is experiencing these types of symptoms is critical.  The faster they can be evaluated and treated, the better the chance of a good outcome for the patient.” 
 Patients who present to the Emergency Department at Wellington Regional are screened at the door to determine the best location in the ER for their evaluation and treatment.  The patients are then immediately taken to an exam room instead of the waiting room in an effort to reduce exposure to other patients.  Once in the exam room, the patient is triaged and given a medical screening exam followed by the development of an individualized medical treatment based on the symptoms and medical tests.  After patients are discharged, the rooms are thoroughly cleaned, including the use of the UV light germ-fighting robot, when appropriate.
The latest recommendations from the CDC is for people who are experiencing mild respiratory or flu-like symptoms to remain at home and manage those symptoms with over the counter medications.  However, if a person’s symptoms continue to worsen, seek immediate care at the nearest Emergency Department.  As always, during the COVID-19 pandemic, avoid groups of more than 10 people and practice social distancing.  In addition, people who have been exposure to the COVID-19 virus should self-quarantine for at least 14 days.
To learn the latest information about COVID-19, visit https://www.wellingtonregional.com/health-alert 
Wellington Regional Medical Center is a 233-bed acute care hospital accredited by The Joint Commission. Celebrating more than 30 years of treating residents in Wellington and the surrounding community, the hospital offers a wide range of services, including comprehensive stroke care, comprehensive lung program, minimally invasive services, cardiac services, a birthing center and level III NICU, comprehensive women’s center, hepatobiliary surgical procedures, intraoperative radiation therapy, interventional procedures and a wellness and weight loss center. To learn more about the hospital, please visit www.wellingtonregional.com.